Despite my age (48) and relatively uneventful suburban lifestyle, I like to think I’m cool. I have a youthful taste in music (Timbaland and Timberlake, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha), my television viewing preferences are cutting edge (Friday Night Lights, Glee and Modern Family), and while I did enjoy Despicable Me slightly more than Inception, I thought Eclipse was better than both. Did I mention that I Facebook? I Facebook like crazy. I post, comment and game. However, whether it’s demographic, geographic or telegraphic (I needed a third graphic reference), there are a lot of things in this world that I just don’t get. There are a lot of fads, whims and trends that strike me as silly, dopey or lame. A lot of traditions seem dated, out of touch or ridiculous. Does that make me un-cool? I don’t think so! In my opinion it makes me relevant. The following is a list of pop culture things I just don’t get.
I don’t get every periodical having a BEST OF issue. It would seem that every magazine, newspaper and family blog has an annual BEST OF issue. The best sea food restaurant, the best drycleaners, the best free WIFI location within a book store or chain coffee shop or the best antibacterial suppository. If everything is voted The BEST is anything actually the best? Do loyal patrons of the establishments stuff the on-line ballot boxes? Does a retailer’s advertising contribution to the periodical have anything to do with their BEST OF rating? At last check, eleven different nail salons in the Tri-Valley have framed BEST OF awards hanging in their entrances. Being somewhat new to the pleasures of nail maintenance, how am I supposed to know the best place to get a mani/pedi if every place proclaims to be the best? My vote for the Best magazine that doesn’t have an annual BEST OF issue is ……ALIVE.
I don’t get the fascination with vampires. Those bloodsucking non-dead 20-something runway models in the Twilight saga, True Blood, the Vampire Chronicles or in the band Vampire Weekend all seem so dark and creepy. Not that I have anything against dead people, we preach acceptance at our house, it’s just that I find living people to be much more fun and spontaneous. The problem is dead people are cold, pale and they only want to hang out at night. I’m a warm blooded sun worshiper who tends to get tired around midnight. While I can’t really say that I’m a Team Jacob dad, those darn Vampires are everywhere. You can bet you’re O+ virgin neckline I won’t be vacationing in Forks, Washington anytime soon.
I don’t get Tweeting. Why do I want to know someone’s every mundane action? I don’t. I truly have no interest in knowing that you’re having coffee on the veranda, enjoying a book while at the dog park or that you’re in the process of inserting the best antibacterial suppository. I know I’m interesting and entertaining, but I don’t have some inflated self worth that leads me to believe anyone else will find me interesting or entertaining. Actually, I do, that’s why I write these magazine articles. Tweeting is a way to say everything you wouldn’t otherwise say, because secretly we truly know – NO ONE CARES! And yet, when people Tweet, they have the illusion that their 140 character bites are insightful, motivating or newsworthy. LOL. Granted, this text based social networking and microblogging service may be the future of communication, but I’m going Tweetless for now.
I don’t get Justin Bieber. This marginally talented kid appears to be either part troll or part Muppet. I get that he was discovered by posting You Tube videos of himself singing and dancing, but come on, he’s all of 4’11”, he wears hip hop outfits from Old Navy and all three Jonas brothers can sing circles around him. For all you parents reading this, isn’t Justin just the modern day Keith Partridge? Except David Cassidy (aka Keith Partridge) could act and play guitar. Maybe Justin is the modern day Danny Partridge. Years from now, I could see Justin hosting some sad radio call-in show, making personal appearances at grocery store grand openings and appearing as a B-list celebrity on The Surreal Life or Celebrity Boot Camp.
I don’t get Back to School Shopping. Why shop for school clothes before school starts? Wouldn’t it make more sense to show up in last year’s clothes to see what’s hot and fly (that’s right, I used the word Fly) before you spend thousands of dollars on your academic wardrobe. Every school has a Fashionista clique who will set the tone for the next nine months, so why let your kids make their own decisions when you know it will end with them saying something like, “I need to buy all new clothes” by the middle of September.
I don’t get campaign spending. Why would you spend a gazillion dollars just to get elected to a crumby government job that pays maybe forty grand a year? Does the title of Senator, Governor of Congressman carry that much prestige and power? How good does it feel to spend all that money and not win the election? Here’s a thought, if you really want to make a difference in the community why not contribute some of that “throw away” money to a few of the local deserving charities. Chances are, if the check is big enough, organizations such as Children’s Hospital or Camp Arroyo might be willing to designate a title for you. The Earl of Donationville or Lord Big Donator sounds pretty important and swanky.
I don’t get JaMarcus Russell. He was the number 1 draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in the NFL a few years ago and now he’s chugging cough syrup in the basement of his mom’s house. Where is your pride man? If the statistic I heard is correct, only about 1% of the college football players are drafted into the NFL each year and this guy has the audacity to hold out as a rookie, finally taking millions of dollars from the hapless Raiders, and when it does come time to show up and play he’s overweight, out of shape and can’t learn the plays. Who did the advance scouting and personality profile on this prospect, Al Davis? Back in the day, I would’ve paid the NFL to let me play for any team in their league.
I also don’t get gouging fans on food prices and parking at professional sporting events. I really don’t get bi-partisans voting in the House and Senate. Does anyone get Mel Gibson, veganism, Polka music or Ultimate Frisbee? It would appear that there are a lot of things I just don’t get or understand. Maybe I am getting old and crotchety. What’s the old saying, “If the music’s too loud, you’re too old” or something like that? Come to think of it, I don’t get why kids play the music so loud in their cars. If the bass is pounding so violently that the fillings in your teeth are coming loose, you might want to turn down the volume. That’s not un-cool that’s just common sense.